Thanks to a wonderful growing season which provided perfectly ripened grapes, Napa Valley native and winemaker Tony Coltrin was able to craft an expressive, approachable and fruit forward Chardonnay. Having undergone alcoholic and malolactic fermentation simultaneously in barrel and spending 9 months sur lie aging in 33% new French oak, our 2015 Los Carneros Chardonnay showcases balanced fruit, lingering acidity and rich flavors and aromas of caramelized white pear, fresh fuji and golden delicious apple, apple blossoms and torched crème brûlée.
Soft goat or cows milk cheeses
White fish, such as halibut, black cod, or tilapia
Chicken dishes with creamy sauces
Light pastas with cream or butter sauces
Caribbean dishes with tropical fruit flavors
Despite receiving close to 75% of normal rainfall, the warmer and dryer than usual winter season, resulted in an early bud break that coupled with a cool spring and long flowering period resulted in an uneven fruit set. Temperatures through the first half of the growing season were even and warm, giving way to repeated heat surges in the final ripening weeks that pushed the harvest ahead by 2 weeks. This weather pattern resulted in smaller than usual clusters and a lighter than usual crop of beautiful rich character.
Our Oberon Chardonnay grapes are sourced from vineyards located within the sub-appellation of Los Carneros. Highly influenced by the San Francisco Bay and San Pablo Bay, Los Carneros provides the perfect combination of summer fog, warm days, cool nights and a long growing season which make it an ideal location for growing our Chardonnay grapes.
Winery: Oberon Wines
Winemaker Tony Coltrin was born in St. Helena and is a lifelong Napa Valley resident. Having grown up in Napa Valley and worked in the wine industry for over 40 years, Coltrin knows every corner of the valley and precisely which sub-zones excel at producing Bordeaux grapes of exceptional character.
Tony’s life-long relationships with grape growers throughout the Napa Valley are the key to Oberon’s quality. He is able to draw on those friendships to reliably obtain top quality fruit at a fair price year after year. For Oberon, Tony selects Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc grapes from Napa’s best winegrowing regions, including Rutherford, Oakville, Oak Knoll, Wooden Valley, and the Michael Mondavi Family’s Oso Vineyard at the northeastern end of Napa Valley.
By layering together structured hillside fruit, plush fruit from the alluvial valley floor and fruit sourced from diverse soils within the valley, Tony crafts quintessential Napa Valley wines: complex, flavorful wines with ample natural acidity. Oberon Cabernet Sauvignon is a classic Napa Cabernet with deep, rich color and concentrated blackberry and cassis flavors. The Merlot shows textbook plum and black currant flavors and silky texture. The Sauvignon Blanc is partially fermented in barrel, adding body and texture to the vibrant green apple, kiwi, pear and melon fruit flavors.
The latest addition to the portfolio is Chardonnay from Los Carneros region. This Chardonnay is an expressive, approachable fruit-forward wine with notes of caramelized white pear, fresh Fuji and Golden Delicious apple, and torched crème brûlée.
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FedEx Ground: Monday, August 13th - Thursday, August 16th
Long time since WineDavid49 has had an Oberon up, at least that I can remember. Last purchased some 2009 Oberon Sauvignon Blanc from Woot on 7/10/2011.
Decent bottle at $11.83; likely this offer is of a similar qpr and from the description sounds like it could be a nice balance between barrel and stainless fermentations.
Do we know the RS on this?
I was pretty excited to see the email telling me that a Lab Rat wine was on the way. After years of Winewooting and months of Casemating, this was my first Lab Rat Experience. I opened the box to find a nice looking bottle of Oberon Chardonnay.
I’ve see Oberon wines around here and there, but we have never tried them, for totally rational reasons (here in Michigan, a very popular and tasty beer is Bell’s Oberon. I felt like I would be disrespectful to the beer to drink a wine with the same name.).
Anyway, like I said, it is a nice looking bottle. We opened it on Sunday. It has a synthetic cork.
I took a whiff out of the freshly opened bottle and got a strong aroma of fruit. My pants are not quite fancy enough to nail down the type of fruit. I poured a splash in my glass and smelled more fruit – apple?
I took my first sip and noticed some strong acidity – almost like a Sauvignon Blanc. After a few more sips, I got more fruit. I would call it fruit forward as compared to other Chardonnays I’ve enjoyed, but definitely not overwhelming. The acidity and fruit remained as I worked on my first glass. I may be not explaining this next part well on account of my less than fancy pants, but the mouth feel was interesting for a Chardonnay. It was a very full, silky mouthfeel. The big mouthfeel reminded me of a dessert wine. I felt like the fruit and acidity tapered off a bit after the wine had been opened for a while.
Mrs. Strongry found the wine tasty, but added that it was difficult to concentrate on the wine in the presence of such a devastatingly handsome drinking companion. Something about marrying me was similar to winning the lottery? That’s what I took out of her comments, anyway.
I noticed from reading previous Lab Rat reports that many people drink the wine over two nights to notice any tasting differences. That was our plan, but it did not work out so well.
Would we buy a case? Probably. Chardonnay isn’t necessarily our favorite varietal, but it was quite good as far as Chardonnays go. If I ever found a pair of fancy pants to wear, I would give it a score of around 88.
I am one of the selected lab rats however I was separated from my delivery by being out of state for work and delayed by weather flying back! I will be flying later today and picking up my bottle when I get home so my report will sadly be delayed.
@bunnymasseuse I poured a small glass to taste tonight at not ideal temperature after getting the package at work. Already transferred to winetogo bag to fly (inside a dry bag) with me tomorrow to NY & will taste again. Tasting notes & pics when I get through security in the morning at the airport. Need sleep!
Quick assessment: Great option for “non chard” or “non white” drinkers, good quality option for something to change up routine and end the summer with.
So last night went and retrieved the box from where it was shipped, my work.
Bottle was not in ideal temp but threw in the fridge to help get a good first impression. I would say smell is muted fruit, not artificial but at that temperature it was a bit harder to small on the nose.
Taste was quick on the fruit, diminished quickly from the center of the tongue and ran quickly to the edges of my tongue with some acid/ spice heat that lingered at the edges. I won’t say it felt spicy as it was more of a quick mild burn/singe that was not lasting or distracting. The apple I feel is a good mix, not specifically ciderish but still a good blend.
I have in the past stayed away from this grape as I find many to be the classic experience and example of “overly buttery” and this did not, for me, give me that impression. I felt it smoothed out the wine, it felt thinner in the mouth but did leave just a hint of the dry longing for another sip. The balance was well done.
I did not have any foods to consume as I was about to turn around on another flight the next morning, but would love to have this with some
Brie or a mango Thai curry dish that’s a mild-med heat level.
Definitely feel that despite a small Muscat addition that this is way more prominent than it would normally be.
Tasting notes as stated from the write up: “rich flavors and aromas of caramelized white pear, fresh fuji and golden delicious apple, apple blossom”
I feel the pear was not as easy to detect, but had I had to guess an apple I would have gone gala or pink lady on the taste if given an apple to compare to.
I did take my initial sip after no real cool down, notes were crisper after an hour in the fridge. I would not keep it around long, not sure how it would hold up.
Transferred my wine to a winetogo bag, placed it in luggage and on the way to NY. Will take to hotel and place in fridge, have another try this afternoon or this evening and report.
Pictures uploaded to my twitter, as this mobile browser is limited in its options.